1st Combat Engineer Battalion
1st CEB Logo
1st Marine Division
Camp Pendleton, California

Mission: To provide the Marine Division with engineer reconnaissance, mobility, counter-mobility, survivability, limited general engineering, command and control of assigned forces, and prepared to conduct provisional infantry operations in order to support ground combat operations.

On 24 February 1941, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, then known as 1st Engineer Battalion, the unit was activated with the formation of the Headquarters and Service Company (H&S). All companies of the battalion were activated by 15 December 1941, just eight days after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

In August 1942, the battalion landed on Guadalcanal with the 1st Marine Division. Facing severe shortages of engineer equipment, the battalion used captured Japanese bulldozers and trucks to help complete the airfield and the defenses along the Marine perimeter. Serving as infantry at night, the engineers were kept busy repairing damage from Japanese bomber attacks.

The 1st Engineer Battalion fought in four other World War II campaigns: Eastern New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa. Typical of the role the engineers played was an attack that "C" Company participated in on New Britain in 1944. Facing a well entrenched enemy in swampy terrain, the engineers spent a torturous day building a corduroy road under direct enemy fire. In late afternoon, tanks were brought forward to lead the attack, but were unable to negotiate a 12 foot stream bank directly in front of the Japanese positions. Called upon to breach the final obstacle, two engineers moved forward on an unarmored bulldozer. Both were quickly killed, but another young engineer leaped aboard and managed to clear the way. That evening, the attack succeeded.

Following World War II, the battalion served in China on occupation duty, and then relocated to Camp Pendleton in 1947.

1st Combat Engineer Battalion deployed to Korea in 1950 and participated in the brilliant landing at Inchon. During that conflict, the engineers participated in ten campaigns, but were best known for helping to lead the famous "breakout" at the Chosin Reservoir.

On 1 May 1957, the battalion was redesignated as the 1st Pioneer Battalion. In October 1962, elements of the battalion took part in the Cuban missile crisis. On 1 May 1963, the battalion was redesignated as 1st Engineer Battalion.

The battalion sailed for Vietnam in 1965, remaining there until 1971. Providing a variety of close combat engineer support throughout I Corps, the battalion also took part in the battle for Hue City. On 31 March 1976, not long after its return to Camp Pendleton, the battalion was redesignated 1st Combat Engineer Battalion which more closely reflects its specific mission.

On 17 August 1990, the battalion arrived in Saudi Arabia and began unloading MPF shipping and preparing defensive positions during Operation Desert Shield. Six months later, the engineers breached Iraqi minefields and obstacles as they attacked into Kuwait on 24 February 1991, in Operation Desert Storm. The liberation of Kuwait was secure on 28 February 1991 and the engineers prepared to return to the United States.

1st Combat Engineer Battalion returned to San Mateo on 1 April 1991 and continued to provide engineering support to the 1st Marine Division.

From 29 December 1992 to 2 February 1993, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (-) deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of Operation RESTORE HOPE.  During this period the battalion participated in the relief and security effort in Somalia.  Elements of 1st CEB fortified positions and improved defenses at the US Embassy, Mogadishu Airport, and Mogadishu Stadium.  Accomplishments during Operation RESTORE HOPE included 27 mines detected and recovered, 4 bridges reconnoitered, 55 road culverts constructed and emplaced, and 127 miles of road work and repair.

During 1994, 1st CEB conducted several significant operations and training exercises.  3rd Plt, Company A, deployed with 2/9 to Ft. Sherman, Panama, from 6-30 January.  Company B supported 5th Marines and 23rd Marines during GOLDEN PHEASANT ‘94 from 24 to 27 February.   1st CEB deployed 18 Marines to Kuwait from 6 to 24 April to participate in NATIVE FURY with 3/7.  1st CEB engineers constructed a mobile assault course at the Udari Range Complex, provided 3/7 with mobility/countermobility support and conducted cross training with the Kuwaiti Army Engineers. 

In August of 1994, 1st CEB provided a company (Rein) to the Wenatchee National Forest in Yakima, Washington, and the Kootenai National Forest in Libby, Montana, in support of Task Force Wildfire.  This support was to help efforts in containing the wildfires in Tyee, Washington, and Koocanusa, Montana.  A section of Marines were also deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR, I MEF’s response to Iraq’s military maneuvers on the Kuwaiti border.

A platoon (Rein) was deployed to Chilliwack, Canada, in January 1994 in support of the Royal Canadian Engineers.  They conducted winter survival skills training, downhill skiing, and tactical movement in Arctic conditions.  In April of 1996, the Battalion deployed to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) in Bridgeport, California, to conduct Mountain Warfare Training Course 4-96.  In May of 1996, elements of 1st CEB conducted JTF-6 missions in Imperial Desert, California.  The Marines were responsible for the capture of over 300 illegal aliens and over 500 pounds of Marijuana during the mission.  In September of 1996, a company-size element from the Battalion deployed to the Umatilla National Forest in Oregon to fight wild land fires as a part of a disaster relief task force (DRTF) to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

In December 1996, 1st CEB deployed two full line companies, Engineer Support Company (ESC), and elements of H&S Company for Operation STEEL KNIGHT VI.  This operation took place at Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) 29 Palms, and involved over 6000 Marines from every major unit comprising the ground combat element (GCE) of the I MEF MPF. 

The battalion deployed two platoons in July of 1999 to support BRIGHT STAR Exercise in Egypt, providing force protection to the ground troops participating in the exercise.  In June 2001, the battalion supported exercise RED REEF, Saudi Arabia, with one combat engineer platoon.  During the exercise the platoon conducted bilateral live fire training with the Saudi engineers from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Royal Saudi Marine Forces (RSMF).  Additionally, the platoon landed in Aqaba, Jordan, for exercise INFINITE MOONLIGHT.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, a platoon with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) deployed to Afghanistan and supported the seizure of Bagram Airbase during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. 

In early 2003, 1st CEB deployed to Kuwait for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  In March, 1st CEB combined with 2d CEB as the combat engineer element for the 1st Marine Division (Rein) and moved into Iraq in support of I MEF’s march to Baghdad.  Four combat engineer platoons remained in Iraq until late 2003 to provide support to the infantry battalions still located in the cities of Karbala, Diwaniyah, An Najaf, and As Samawah for Stability and Support Operations (SASO).  By October 2003, all of the remaining platoons redeployed back to Camp Pendleton from Iraq.

1st CEB’s companies returned to Iraq in March of 2004.  Both Company C (Rein) and Company B (Rein) supported 1st Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs) 1 and 7 in Al Anbar Province.  Two reinforced engineer platoons attached to MEUs also supported combat operations in Iraq.  In July, the Battalion deployed a detachment to provide advanced IED training in theatre.  By October 2004, Company C and Company B redeployed back to Camp Pendleton, CA.

In 2005, 1st CEB platoons with both the 11th and 15th MEUs supported combat operations in Iraq.  In March, an additional platoon joined combat operations in country.  In September, Company C (Rein) deployed to western Al Anbar Province in support of RCT 2.  Company C participated in Operation STEEL CURTAIN and operations in the vicinity of Haditha, Hit, Haqlaniyah, and Barwanah.  In February 2006, Company B deployed to Al Anbar Province in support of RCT 5.  Company C returned to Camp Pendleton in March 2006, and subsequently deployed back to Iraq in August/September to relieve Company B in Fallujah in support of both RCT 5 and 6.  

From January to December of 2007, two line companies, Company C (Rein) and Company B (Rein), were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Company C (Rein) deployed ISO RCT-5 headquartered out of Camp Fallujah and Company B (rein) deployed ISO RCT 2.  3d and 1st Platoons from Company A were also deployed in support of OIF while attached to the 15th and 13th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) MEU (SOC), respectively.  2d Platoon, Company A conducted pre-deployment training and then attached to the 11th MEU to begin workups.  Engineer Support Company and Headquarters & Service Company both provided Marines and equipment to the deployed reinforced line companies and provided support to home station training for the units preparing to deploy.  Through coordination and direction from Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), the Battalion began forming a new company – Mobility Assault Company (MAC), formerly Company D (a cadre line Company) but with a new mission of armored assault breach

ing.  This Company was initially formed around two future systems: the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) and Joint Assault Bridge (JAB).  Subsequently, it was decided to incorporate the motorized route clearance mission that was developed in theatre and has become a critical engineer requirement in both OIF and OEF campaigns providing mobility to the Division and Regional Commands.

From January through June 2008, Company C (Rein) and Company A 3d CEB (Rein), were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).  Company C (Eein) deployed in support of RCT 2 in Al Anbar Province, ending their deployment by being relieved by Company A 3d CEB (Rein).  2d and 3d Platoons from Company A were also deployed while attached to the 11th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) MEU (SOC), respectively.

In July 2008, the battalion executed Exercise Summer Heat, a multi-battalion Alternate Training Venue in 29 Palms, CA.  During this month, 3d Platoon, Company A, was deployed with the 15th MEU and en-route to Jordan.  Company C began reorganization, forming two line platoons (1st and 2d Platoons).  1st Platoon and Support Platoon, Company A, 3d CEB, conducted military operations in Iraq to include Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (AT/FP) improvements and demilitarization efforts.  2d and 3d Platoons, Company A, 3d CEB, conducted missions in Afghanistan to include raids, route clearance, cache sweeps, and AT/FP improvements. 

In January 2009, the battalion was officially notified that they would be deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan as a battalion forward in its entirety.  This would be the first time since Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 1 that the battalion headquarters would be deployed together.  The Battalion Sappers conducted Sapper Squad Leader Course 01-09.  During this month, 1st Platoon, Company A, was deployed with the 11th MEU.  1st and 2d Platoons of Company C began their deployment in support of OIF.   Company B 1st and 2d platoons and the company headquarters remained deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 08.2. 

During the months of July through October 2009, the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (1st CEB) operated with a Headquarters and Service Company, an Engineer Support Company, and a Mobility Assault Company in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 9.1 in Afghanistan.  The three Combat Engineer Companies: Company A, Company B, and Company C remained behind at Camp Pendleton, California.  During the months of November through December 2009, 1st CEB operated with an H&S Company, ESC, MAC, and the three Combat Engineer Companies: Company A, Company B and Company C at Camp Pendleton, California. 

During the months of January through June 2010, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (1st CEB) conducted pre-deployment training with H&S, Engineer Support Company, MAC, and Company C for an upcoming deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Company A, 1st Platoon conducted a pre-deployment training cycle to prepare the platoon for their upcoming deployment with the 13th MEU. During the months of January through June 2010, 1st CEB operated with an H&S Company, Support Co, MAC, and the three Combat Engineer Companies: Company A, Company B, and Company C at Camp Pendleton, California.

During the month of February, Company B deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 10.1. Its primary mission was to provide mobility, countermobility, and survivability support to Regimental Combat Team 2 and Regimental Combat Team 7. Company B had 2d Platoon, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion attached in direct support to 3d Battalion, 7th Marines. Company A, 2nd Platoon returned from a deployment with the 11th MEU which lasted from September 2009 to April 2010. During the month of May 2010, Company A, 3d Platoon deployed with the 15th MEU.

In October of 2010, 1st CEB deployed back to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 10.2 with Company C, Mobile Assault Company, Engineer Support Company, and Headquarters and Service Company.  In addition, the Battalion was augmented with a company headquarters staff from Combat Engineer Company, Combat Assault Battalion, Okinawa Japan, and augmented with the 309th US Army Reserve Engineer Company based out of Arden Hills, Minnesota serving in a Route Reconnaissance and Clearance (R2C) role.

On 8 May 2011, 1st CEB returned from Afghanistan to begin their pre-deployment training for the next deployment in support of OEF 12.1. 1st CEB conducted a battalion exercise at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) in Bridgeport, CA from 8 September to 7 October. For the first time in the modern era, a CEB deployed to MCMWTC in order to conduct a training exercise. CEB assisted the training and support cadre of MCMWTC to develop a training scenario tailored to missions more specific and inclusive of an Combat Engineer Battalion. 1st Platoon, Company A deployed in support of the 11th MEU on 14 November. 1st Platoon, Company B deployed to Afghanistan in support of 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment on 27 November initiating the staggered deployment of the battalion spread across six months. Subsequently, 3d Platoon, Company B deployed to Afghanistan in support of 2d Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment on 3 December along with Company C headquarters, 1st Platoon, Company C in support of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 3d Platoon, Company C in support of 2d Battalion, 5th Marines 2d Platoon, Company C in support of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, and 2d Platoon, Company B in support of 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

In April of 2012, 1st CEB (-) (Rein) again returned to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 12.1. The battalion main body consisted of H&S, MAC, ESC, and a reserve company attached from 4th Marine Division as an additional route clearance company – Company E, 4th Tank Battalion.

ADOPTIVE CHURCH - THE SAN CLEMENTE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

The San Clemente Presbyterian Church is the adopted church of the First Combat Engineer battalion and offers a variety of different outreach programs aimed toward the families Marines and sailors of 1st CEB. The unwavering support that 1st CEB receives from the members of the Presbyterian Church is a constant reminder that we can always rely on the support of the community in our times of need.

OUTREACH PROGRAMS:
Prayer Partners for Deployed Marines
Welcome Home Gift Bags
Family support
Tutoring and Mentoring
SCHEDULED EVENTS:
Baby Showers (semi-annual)
4th of July Celebration
Thanksgiving Dinner
Christmas Gifts
Special Needs
Chaplain Support
Babysitting
Furniture (Call your Family Readiness Officer)

For more information regarding the San Clemente Presbyterian Church, you can visit the website (www.scpres.org)

Chaplain Bryce Taylor (LT, USN)
Chaplain Corps, USN 
Phone #: (760) 725-7720

bryce.taylor@usmc.mil

We are here to serve you and your family. Call anytime if you need assistance, and we will be happy to help you with any questions or issues that arise.

Join us every other Sunday night in the 62 Area Chapel for a meal at 1700 and a Protestant Service at 1800.
Note: Please contact the chaplain for information regarding services for a specific denomination or faith.

 

"Proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:96

I once was the girlfriend, then I became the wife (now retired after 30 years in the USMC), and now I am the mother of an Active Duty Marine.  I have two adult children and know the challenges that frequent moves, deployments and extended separations can have on a family.  However, I would not change the last 30+ years of my life for anything.  
 

I became the Deployment Readiness Coordinator (DRC) for 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (known as the Super Breeds) in October 2020.  I have been here to provide assistance and resources to Marines and Sailors and their family members and supporters for many deployments.  If I do not have all of the answers to your questions immediately, I will do my best to find the answer/resource for you. 

The Super Breed community we create is like that of a family - we support each other in our successes and struggles.  We are better together and the network we build will equip us to sustain throughout every challenge of this military life.  As your DRC, I am available to help connect you to classes that will help you understand how military life works, as well as answer any questions you may have along the way.  We will provide the training and resources to ensure that every Marine, Sailor and family member is resilient and ready for whatever the mission may be.  

Marines/Sailors can provide up to four authorized contacts in their MarineOnline (MOL) accounts to whom I can send information and answer questions.  Please know that all of the information coming from me is “friendly.”  You will never receive any casualty or injury information from me.   

I encourage you to get involved and attend the events we hold.  I am always looking for volunteers, so please connect with me it you are interested in volunteering.   

I look forward to connecting with you and having you as a valued member of our Super Breed Family. 

 
 

Pherby Higgins 

Deployment Readiness Coordinator 

1st Combat Engineer Battalion 

Pherby.higgins@usmc.mil 

760-763-7893 (office) 

760-468-7289 (cell) 

760-725-7775 (Officer of the Day) 

760-224-0188 (Officer of the Day Cell Phone) 

 

Facebook Pages: 

1stCEB Official Page - https://www.facebook.com/1stcombatengineerbattalion 

1stCEB Spouses Page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/181101315632224 

 

PO BOX 555554
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055

OOD: 760-224-4136 (After hours 760-725-7775)

S1: 760-725-7775

SgtMaj 760-763-0716

Bn XO  760-763-0897

 

 

1st Combat Engineer Battalion Leaders

Commanding Officer, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion

LtCol T.A. Barrion

LtCol Tyrone A. Barrion was born in San Diego, California. He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor's of Science in Maritime Operations and Technology and a Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED) certificate. In March of 2007, he completed OCS and...

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Sergeant Major, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion

SgtMaj N.A. Carrel

Sergeant Major Nicholas A. Carrel was born in Long Beach, California. Sergeant Major Carrel entered the United States Marine Corps in 1998 and graduated recruit training at MCRD San Diego, after which he reported to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton....

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1st Marine Division